DeepResource

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Archive for the category “USA”

Algae-for-Fuel Breakthrough?

Previous attempts to boost the oil concentration in algae — an important step in biofuel production — failed because the cells stopped growing when they were overloaded with lipid. The new genetic process maintains growth until 40 per cent of the biomass consists of lipid, an industrially useful level.

[the-american-interest.com] – Finally, a Biofuel to Get Excited About

Americans Are Back in Love With SUVs and Pickups

[source] Dieselgate – cartoon with US pickup-truck driver telling a German motorist: “You should be ashamed of yourselves”

The manipulated CO2-emissions by Volkswagen-engineers was a fraud and should be prosecuted. It is just… well… are Americans really the ones to cast the first stone? Annual carbon dioxide emissions [tonnes] per capita:

USA 18
Saudi-Arabia 17
Russia 12
Japan 9
Germany 9
UK 8
Italy 7
China 6
France 6
Nigeria 0

[wikipedia.org] – List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita

Bloomberg reports that now the US economy is picking up steam again, the Americans are returning to their SUVs, pickup-trucks and vans. The US abandoning the Paris accords also sends the wrong signal. The US remains the only great power not to have an official renewable energy policy/vision, although a lot of state level initiatives do occur. If for instance Texas were a country, it would be the fourth wind power in the world. Many leftists like to blame president Trump for this, ignoring that a Clinton administration and deep state darling would not have made a jota difference, but instead would have ensured the US would be at war with Russia by now. In this respect the Trump administration is the lesser evil.

Volkswagen was forced to settle with US justice at the astronomical amount of $14.7 billion for a fleet of 500,000 cars involved. This amounts to the insane sum of $30,000 per car. This has nothing to do with justice but everything with US industrial cannibalism. A criminal act exercised by a predator country that itself couldn’t care less about the environment.

Despite the settlement, the US justice department has announced that it has issued arrest warrants against VW managers. They don’t know when to stop, now do they?

[bloomberg.com] – Americans Are Back in Love With SUVs and Pickups

[dw.com] – eport: US issues arrest warrants for former VW executives
[nytimes.com] – Interpol Seeks Five Ex-VW Managers Over Emissions Fraud
[sueddeutsche.de] – Warum die USA fünf VW-Manager fassen wollen
[spiegel.de] – USA schreiben VW-Manager weltweit zur Fahndung aus
[zeit.de] – USA fahnden weltweit nach VW-Mitarbeitern

IFBattery – Instantaneous Recharging Batteries

An innovation from Perdue University, Laffayette, USA, could dramatically reduce the time needed to recharge a battery. E-vehicles could enter a charging station en route and recharge in a matter of minutes, like in the petrol car days and as such could significantly lower the acceptation threshold for e-vehicles. Gone would be the necessity of a nation-wide power plug infrastructure in front of every home to recharge the car at night.

Purdue scientist John Cushman presented his findings at the recent International Society for Porous Media 9th International Conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Recharging consists of refilling a car with fluid electrolytes, not with electricity kWh’s:

The spent battery fluids or electrolyte could be collected and taken to a solar farm, wind turbine installation or hydroelectric plant for re-charging… Instead of refining petroleum, the refiners would reprocess spent electrolytes and instead of dispensing gas, the fueling stations would dispense a water and ethanol or methanol solution as fluid electrolytes to power vehicles… Other flow batteries exist, but [this is] the first to remove membranes which reduces costs and extends battery life… Membrane fouling can limit the number of recharge cycles and is a known contributor to many battery fires.

[purdue.edu] – ‘Instantly rechargeable’ battery could change the future of electric and hybrid automobiles

US Withdraws from Paris Agreement on Climate Change

US president Trump has announced yesterday that he will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate agreement. European leaders immediately condemned the move and excluded the possibility of renegotiation.

[wikipedia.org] – Paris Agreement
[spiegel.de] – Paris kann nicht neu verhandelt werden

Share CO2 emissions:

Country Global % CO2 Population in million
China 29.5 1350
USA 14.3 330
EU 9.6 500
India 6.8 1500
Russia 4.9 150

[source]

Interesting to note how comparatively little energy the EU needs to generate a GDP comparable to that of the US and China and generate the following external exports (not counting inner trade):

Entity Export in trillion $
EU 2.7
China 2.0
USA 1.5

[source]

Entity GDP (nominal) trillion $ (UN)
USA 18.0
EU 16.8
China 11.2

[source]

Entity GDP (PPP) in trillion $ (CIA)
China 21.3
EU 19.2
USA 18.6

[source]

The decision by Trump to cling on to fossil technologies, gives Europe the excellent opportunity to get a decisive head start over the US in all matters of energy production of the 21st century, with large geopolitical repercussions.

[source] CO2 emissions for three years flat now.

The Seven Brothers – Europe Taking Lead in US Offshore

Click for very large photo

The outgoing oil age was dominated by the so-called Seven Sisters, the giant Anglo [*] oil companies Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP), Gulf Oil (later part of Chevron), Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil Company of California (SoCal, now Chevron), Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (Esso, later Exxon), Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony, later Mobil, now part of ExxonMobil), Texaco (later merged into Chevron).

[*] – if we categorize the Dutch as “Anglo-Germans”.

[wikipedia.org] – Seven Sisters (oil companies)

It looks like wind is going to play a major role in the energy generation of the 21st century, taking over from 20th century oil and that this time the rising industry will be dominated by European firms:

[deepresource] – Ten Largest Wind Turbines To Date
[deepresource] – The Giants of a New Energy Age

  • The 19th century was dominated by British coal and Britain was the dominant power.
  • The 20th century was dominated by American oil and America was the dominant power.
  • The 21st century… ah well, you get the message.

[nexusmedianews.com] – U.S. Offshore Wind Poised to Boom — for Europeans
[pri.org] – The US gets its first offshore wind farm, with a lot of help from Europe

Assessment US Offshore Wind Potential

[Source]

In September 2016, the US government presented a report about the potential of US offshore wind energy, using wind data at 100 m altitude. Assumed confinement: within 200 nautical miles from shore. Total theoretical potential: 10,800 GW or 44,000 TWh per year. But this potential is not going to be realized. To come to a more realistic assessment, all ocean water depths over 1000 m were ignored as well as depths over 60 m in the Great Lakes (because of ice). Next areas with lower average wind speed were eliminated. Applying these restrictions the study arrived at a offshore wind energy potential of more than 2,000 GW or 7,200 TWh per year. Which is still double the current US electricity consumption.

The colored areas are potential offshore wind turbine installation areas.

It needs to be remarked that apparently most of the offshore wind energy potential will have to be realized with floating wind turbines, a technology not much applied yet. Compare these 2,000 GW with the 1,600 GW potential for the North Sea alone, that can be completely realized with monopile structures.

[energy.gov] – Computing America’s Offshore Wind Energy Potential
[energy.gov] – National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States

U.S. Builds First Offshore Wind Farm

11 Dec. 2016 – In the U.S. today, wind power accounts for about five percent of all electricity generation, but a new project aims to change that. A $300 million installation off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, takes the renewable energy technology out to sea. Gov. Gina Raimondo anticipates the project is the beginning of a new industry, but some locals are skeptical. Mike Taibbi reports.

Five French made Alstom Haliade 150 6 MW turbines, 30 MW, $300 million. Water depth 23 m. The turbines began producing power in May 2017.

[wikipedia.org] – Block Island Wind Farm
[4coffshore.com] – Block Island Wind Farm
[Google Maps] – Block Island

Vertical Farming Taking Off

Wikipedia:

Vertical farming is the practice of producing food in vertically stacked layers, such as in a skyscraper, used warehouse, or shipping container. The modern ideas of vertical farming use indoor farming techniques and controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) technology, where all environmental factors can be controlled. These facilities utilize artificial control of light, environmental control (humidity, temperature, gases…) and fertigation. Some vertical farms use techniques similar to greenhouses, where natural sunlight can be augmented with artificial lighting and metal reflectors

The concepts was pioneered first in 2014, with Vertical Fresh Farms operating in Buffalo, NY/USA, specializing in a wide variety of salad greens, herbs, and sprouts.

Vertical Fresh Farms has been farming commercially on a small scale in Buffalo, New York for a few years, but a larger scale commercial facility is currently under construction in the Netherlands. Fruit and vegetables supplier Staay Food Group is erecting a 900 square meter vertical farm, which will have a total cultivation area of 30,000 square meters.

[cleantechnica.com] – Vertical Farming Is Taking Off: Europe’s First Commercial Vertical Farm Under Construction In The Netherlands
[wikipedia.org] – Vertical farming
[philips.nl] – Grootste commerciële stadskwekerij van Europa in Dronten

The World Doesn’t Have a Long-Term Energy Problem

[source]

Terra-Watts solar is coming, replacing Giga-Watts. This is the conclusion prominent scientists from the German Fraunhofer Institute (ISE) and US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) arrive at. They predict that by 2030, the global cumulative installed solar capacity will be 10-30 fold of what it is today. Solar panel producer “First Solar” predicts that as early as 2020, the price of solar panels will decrease to as little as 25 cents/Watt. That would mean that a standard 100 cm x 164 cm, 300 Watt panel costing € 300,- will cost € 75 in 2020. Solar panels as block-board.

Currently Abu Dhabi is able to produce solar electricity for a staggering low 2.4 cent/kWh.

There is no long-term global energy problem.

[spiegel.de] – Forscher prognostizieren gigantischen Solarboom
[science.sciencemag.org] – Terawatt-scale photovoltaics: Trajectories and challenges

Storage Breakthrough – $100/kWh has been achieved

Cheap storage to counter the intermittent supply of renewable electricity is the missing link en route towards the desired renewable energy base of the future, but that problem could now have been solved. Technology has developed so rapidly in recent years that cost of electricity storage has been brought down from $1000 to $100 per kWh.

City College NY has improved an old concept of mangandioxide-zinc batteries. Result: 6000 charge-cycles for less than $100/kwh.
Price storage of a single kWh: 1.67 dollar cent or say 8 cent per day per 5 kWh/day household. Peanuts.
Can also be used for cars: 40 kWh battery for $4000. Bye-bye gasoline.

Mangan-Oxid is abundant and non-toxic.
This NYC startup is going to produce the batteries first:

[urbanelectricpower.com]

[sciencedaily.com] – Sustainable, high energy density battery created
[nature.com] – Regenerable Cu-intercalated MnO2 layered cathode for highly cyclable energy dense batteries
[pnnl.gov] – Unexpected discovery leads to a better battery
[newatlas.com] – Power dense zinc-manganese power unit as cheap as a car battery
[wikipedia.org] – Manganese
[wikipedia.org] – Zinc
[trouw.nl] – Batterijdoorbraak: magische grens van 100 dollar is geslecht

Charles Hall on EROI

Talk Princeton 2016.

Hall comes from ecology and that’s where he minted the concept of energy return on invest. It was first applied to fish and fish migration patterns. Hall discovered that my moving around at the energy cost of 1 calorie, the fish gained 5 calories (salmon eating plankton). Life in general has to engage in energy investments. Next Hall applied EROI on humans. Hunter/gatherers need to walk/run to find food, nuts and animals. Fire enhanced EROI since it made cooking of food possible, which was more abundant and easier to acquire than animals. Next step agriculture allowed for food storage, yielding in EROI in the range of 10-50, enabling leisure, resulting in socializing, like story telling. Next step fossil fuel exploitation. Secret: you want more wealth? Use more energy. During Hall’s lifetime, energy use per capita, as well as wealth increased by a factor of 7. Next graph that shows the % of GDP spent on energy, with a sharp decline after 1850 (application of coal). In the 1990s that % went up again. Hall states that EROI of most of our fuels is declining as they are depleting. Hall acknowledges the importance of technology and that technology is in competition with depletion. Hall refers to his book about (low) EROI of solar with Pietro. Pietro today is even more pessimistic about EROI of PV-solar than before. Refers to the reality of peak (conventional) oil. Decline EROI of Norwegian North Sea oil from 1:40 to 1:20. Patterns applies to everywhere else. Net energy cliff.Offshore wind has EROI of 52. Shows picture with peak fossil (all included) at 2045. Familiar pyramid of cultural achievements as related to EROI.For arts you are supposed to need 14:1 (a ridiculous notion, the highest art was created before the fossil fuel age). Hall has extremely little hope for renewable energy and suggests that by 3000, humans will be hunters-gatherers again. Hall nevertheless says it is wise that we move the renewables. Hall downplays importance climate change a little and that the EROI discussion-implications are more important for society.

[cassandralegacy] – Charlie Hall speaks about EROI (and many other things)

Plundering Appalachia

How Powerful Is Big Oil?

[seeker.com] – How Powerful Is Big Oil?

Breakthrough Battery Technology: $65/kWh

sb-pb-battery

US researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a liquid metal battery that could fulfil that role. Such a battery would lower the overall costs of energy storage, and have the advantages that they are mechanically simple and don’t take up much space… Indeed, the team’s experiments with this novel storage system carried out at 450°C displayed a current density of 275mA/cm2, with a cycling efficiency of 98% on charging and 73% ‘round-trip’ energy efficiency… The team’s experiments completely charging and discharging their battery over 450 cycles over 75 days suggests that the battery will still have 85% of its initial storage capacity after 10 years active service… The team adds that at today’s prices, the electrode materials costs are approximately $65/kWh.

Editor: is this is true and no serious (environmental) disadvantages come with this technology, this could mean the final breakthrough for wind and solar.

[rsc.org] – Molten metal batteries set to store grid power

[deepresource] – Tesla Storage for $350/kWh
[deepresource] – 160$/kwh Storage in 2016
[deepresource] – Storage For Less Than $100/kWh

Utility Scale Solar for 5 cent/kWh

solar-apple

An upbeat report from a stakeholder: utility solar in the US is doing fine and reaching grid parity, if one includes tax incentives, scheduled to last until 2021. But reduced tax benefits maybe compensated by continued price decline of large scale solar installations. Several large utility scale PV power stations came online this year, such as the 550-megawatt (MW) Topaz Solar plant in San Luis Obispo County, California and the 550MW Desert Sunlight plant in Desert Center, California.

The first reported contract for solar power under five cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) occurred in 2014: Austin Energy’s 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunEdison for 150 MW of solar power. The trend continued in 2015, when Nevada Energy secured a 4.6 cent per kWh PPA with SunPower.

Editor: articles like this explain why we have lost interest a little in energy problems, because the initial fear, which prompted us to start this blog nearly four years ago, namely a world running out of energy fast, has been pushed to the background and replaced with worries about the state of the economy and international finance, the destabilizing refugee crises and the threat of war.

Personally, it costed merely 3000 euro to have a solar installation on the roof that will annually produce almost twice as much electricity as needed for the next 25-30 years.

Now that utility solar has reached grid parity, the only remaining energy related problem is storage, to overcome daily and most important seasonal demand and supply fluctuations. Potential solutions: pumped hydro and perhaps fuel production from electricity. But there is little doubt that a 100% renewable energy base is feasible within a few decades.

[blogs.edf.org] – A Sunny Future for Utility-Scale Solar

No Peak Car Yet

peak-car-not

Predicting is easy, being right a different matter altogether. Many voices said that peak car was in 2008, coinciding with the Lehman crash. Apparently, a somewhat recovering economy and more important collapsed fuel prices, growing population as well as more fuel efficient cars, have made that Americans are driving more miles than ever before.

[vox.com] – Why driving in the US is making a big comeback

Der Spiegel Proposes to Let VW Go Bust

Auslieferung_von_Phaeton_Passat_CC_und_Touareg

Der Spiegel represents US and not German interests and as such is the enemy within, a Trojan Horse. In a latest move to undermine the economic strength of Germany, the neo-bolsheviks from Hamburg propose that the German government should let the flagship of the German economy Volkswagen go bust and found a new state-run company that should concentrate on e-mobility.

It is likely that parasitic US laywers, governments and what not, will exploit the occasion to do as much damage as possible to their German competitor and will treat the hapless company as an undefended German town in 1944 by night. Predictably the readers comments section begs to disagree.

But the future of VW doesn’t look very good indeed.

[spiegel.de] – Keine Rettung: Lasst VW pleitegehen – und helft den Arbeitnehmern

E-Raw & Juicer Retro Design E-Bikes

[spiegel.de] – Elektro-Zweirad-Studien: Die große Freiheit
[gizmag.com] – e-raw electric moto

eraw1E-Raw

eraw2Juicer

Texas Solar Tower Go Ahead?

What we love about the project are the video and music, but that’s about it.

Last year we reported about an Australian company promoting the design of a solar downdraft wind tower and expressed our skepticism regarding the energy efficiency of the project:

[deepresource] – Solar Downdraft Wind Tower Planned in Arizona

To our amazement, Environmission reported that Texas agreed to invest 1 million $ in the undertaking.

[enviromission.com.au] – Texas Solar Tower Development Agreement US$ Banked

Furthermore, India seems to be interested as well:

[cleantechnica.com] – EnviroMission Reports Progress On The First Solar Chimney In India

[wiki2.org] – Solar updraft tower

Epic Californian Drought Latest

balls-in-lakeBalls against water evaporation

[rt.com] – Los Angeles dumps 20K ‘shade balls’ into reservoir to stop evaporation

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